This epicenter of craft brewing in the hills definitely resides in the Lobethal Bierhaus, that’s what I learnt last weekend. Sure, there are other places that make great beer in the region such as Grumpy’s but Lobethal appeals to me a little more.
The Lobethal Bierhaus opened it’s doors in 2007 after international banker, Alistair, turned his mind to brewing during his time in the United States where he caught the craft brewing bug from the country that has been at the forefront of invigorating the industry.
So he saved his money, learnt all he could while he was over there and with his, then, business partner had all the stainless steel that he need sent home to Adelaide from Canada.
The Lobethal Bierhaus was set up in an old mill that had been a brewery in the 1850’s and it is good to see it back to its original purpose. Once set up, it was time for the wonderful beer to flow.
For those of you who are responsible drivers the Bierhaus has take-home 2 litre ‘growlers’ for $42 and then $24 to refill every time you go out there. They are available in all the regular styles, the IPA, pale, hefeweizen, porter, stout and pilsener.
The hefe is great, even better on the wonderful spring day we were enjoying it at the time and this would be a worthy beer to make it into high summer rotation. Great banana esters as well as a little bit of clove and vanilla.
The IPA was a good one that didn’t turn into a huge bitter hop bomb but it did have enough of tropical fruit like passionfruit to keep me enthralled through several pints.
The final beer, and the one I was most looking forward to was the Belgium inspired, Devil’s Choice. This is a strong golden at 10% along the lines of a Duvel which always excites so I was ready for something special and I got it. A bright and strong beer with character to boot. Definitely get into this if you can.
I would like to talk about the other beers but after having this one I feel like that would not be fair and my palate certainly wasn’t going to be able to give them a fair shake. I have tried the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout before so I can give you a brief run down of the beer. Smooth, like all the best oatmeal stouts are, with a hint of chocolate. Not the most warming of stouts, more an autumn stout then a winter one in my opinion but still something to enjoy.
One of the really enjoyable things about the Bierhaus is not only the high quality, mouthwatering beers but the great food and the way we were treated as Al gave us a tour of the brewing premise and the packaging area. Out the back he showed us his second passion, classic car restoration. That was pretty awesome to see but what surprised me even more was the fact that all the bottled beer coming out of the Lobethal Bierhaus is bottled by hand. It made me realise again just how tight the profit margins are in the brewing game and that no one opens a craft brewery to get rich. Alistair shared that he would be lucky to make minimum wage even though his brewery is pretty much operating at capacity and the beer is leaving the brewery almost as fast as he can make it.
So to wind this down the Lobethal Bierhaus has excellent product and excellent owners to boot so even if you can’t make it out to Lobethal Bierhaus you can still pick up a pint from the Wheaty & Kings Head. The bottled form for your home enjoyment can be picked up at numerous places, check their website for a list of stockists.
So Al, if you ever need some help with any hand bottling or grunt work for free, let me know because I reckon you guys are making the real deal when it comes to beer.
Till next time guys